Tokyo, February 23, AZERTAC
Crown Prince Naruhito, marking his 55th birthday on Monday and ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II later this year, called for accounts of history to be handed down correctly.
“I myself did not experience the war, but it is important to look back on the past humbly and correctly pass down tragic experiences and the history behind Japan to the generations who have no direct knowledge of the war, at a time memories of the war are about to fade,” he said at a news conference prior to his birthday.
He characterized postwar Japan as “enjoying peace and prosperity after it was built with the Japanese Constitution as the cornerstone.”
“I hope this year will be an opportunity to take the preciousness of peace to heart and renew our determination to pursue peace,” the Crown Prince said.
He was speaking in response to a question about the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, which falls this summer.
The Imperial family has no political powers but current Emperor Akihito has played an important role in working to heal the wounds of the that was war waged across Asia in his father’s name.
Abe’s statement on the anniversary will be closely watched by the United States — and by China and South Korea, where bitter wartime memories run deep — for any sign he is diluting past apologies.
As the Crown Prince reached the same age as when his father, now 81, assumed the throne, he said he feels serious and moved.